Full time 12 Month(s), Part time 24 Month(s)
The PgCert provides you with an opportunity to study at postgraduate level even if you are not initially considering pursuing an entire MA programme. The course can be taken as a stand-alone qualification, where you can focus on a particular area, or you can progress onto the relevant MA programme.
This programme aims to provide you with a secure knowledge of the major theories, concepts and issues relating to Philosophy in a variety of intellectual traditions and historical and contemporary contexts. You will gain a systematic understanding of a range of debates and discussions raised by past and present approaches to the philosophical reflection. In addition, the PgCert will equip you with the necessary skills appropriate to evaluating, analysing and interpreting both academic and practitioner approaches to Philosophy.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Philosophy is a various and contested discipline, about which we can and should ask metaphilosophical questions: What is philosophy? How ought we to go about doing it? What is its purpose or value? What kinds of knowledge does it produce? What is the relation between it and other disciplines, e.g. literary criticism, history, psychology? Or between it and other forms of writing, e.g. poetry, fiction, political rhetoric? Is philosophy as currently practiced in Anglo-American universities problematically Western or male? Is university philosophy real philosophy?
The aims of this team-taught module are (1) to give students a tasting menu of some of the topics and approaches of contemporary professional philosophy as done here at Lancaster, and (2) to help students to reflect on metaphilosophical questions, both in the discipline and in their own practice.
Apart from the introductory week 1, the module has three parts: Part A (weeks 2-5) consists of short talks by philosophy staff on their current research and on the metaphilosophical issues it raises, followed by moderated discussion. Part B (weeks 6-8) consists of close reading and discussion of a classic, opinionated introduction to philosophical ethics and to its metaphilosophy: Bernard Williams’s Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. For MA Philosophy students, this part also counts as the disciplinary segment of PPR400 Theories & Methods. Part C (weeks 9-10) will be taken up with work and presentation on essays in progress.
David Edmunds, Nigel Warburton, et al., ‘What is Philosophy?’, Philosophy Bites podcast, http://philosophybites.com/2010/11/what-is-philosophy.html Genevieve Lloyd, The Man of Reason (2nd edn, Routledge 1993)G. E. R. Lloyd, Disciplines in the Making: cross-cultural perspectives on elites, learning, and innovation (Oxford University Press 2009): chapter 1Sarah A. Mattice, Metaphor and Metaphilosophy: philosophy as combat, play, and aesthetic experience (Lexington Books 2014)Soren Overgaard, Paul Gilbert, & Stephen Burwood, An Introduction to Metaphilosophy (Cambridge University Press 2013)Nicholas Rescher, Metaphilosophy: philosophy in philosophical perspective (Lexington Books 2014)Richard Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope (Penguin 1999)Timothy Williamson, The Philosophy of Philosophy (Blackwell 2007)
You can get a sense of the range and style of contemporary Anglo-American professional philosophy by browsing the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online, http://plato.stanford.edu/
This module critically focuses on three interconnected concepts—autonomy, paternalism and consent—that are of key importance for ethics, political philosophy and applied philosophy, and that are the focus of wide discussion in moral psychology and philosophy of mind. In the first couple of weeks be begin by looking at the notion of liberty (some senses of “autonomy”, as we shall see, are pretty much the same as “liberty”) and then raise some puzzles about how we should best characterize “personal autonomy”. Weeks 3-5 focus on different ways that autonomy can be undermined, with or without the knowledge of the agent herself. In weeks 6 and 7 we turn to a distinctive kind of restriction on autonomy: paternalistic actions (or policies) restrict agents’ autonomy for the agents’ own interests. Paternalism is a particular problem in medicine because doctors may know a lot more about a patient’s best medical interests than the patient herself. Traditionally this has underpinned a practice of medical deception. In week 8 we turn to informed consent as a “solution” to the problem of medical paternalism: informed consent requirements oblige doctors to disclose information about risks and benefits of treatments (and non-treatment), so that patients can make their own decisions. In biomedical ethics this is standardly justified by appeal to a principle of: respect for autonomy. In week 9 we end up with an interesting contemporary development in discussions of paternalism. Libertarians in political philosophy are people who give a very high value to individual liberty and autonomy. Libertarians are typically opposed to state policies which seek to protect individuals’ best interests. Is there scope for a “libertarian paternalism”? The final week is an essay outline presentation and discussion session.
1. Liberty and autonomy – why are they important?
2. Personal autonomy: how and when are we autonomous?
3. Autonomy undermined 1: addiction
4. Autonomy undermined 2: oppressive socialization
5. Autonomy undermined 3: advertising
6. Paternalism: overriding autonomy for the agent’s own good
7. Medical paternalism and medical deception
8. Informed consent
9. Nudge? Libertarian paternalism
10. ESSAY OUTLINE PRESENTATION WEEK
A detailed handbook with reading lists, study questions and suggested essay questions, will be provided at the first session.
The aim of this module is to develop the skills and virtues of a postgraduate-level philosopher and scholar of philosophy, by guided practice in close reading and reasoned discussion of selected works in moral, political, and social philosophy. No attempt at broad survey will be made. The module will instead be run as a reading group on a small number of high-quality texts, to be chosen in consultation with those taking it each year. Seminars will be moderated discussions of set reading introduced by a student presentation or by the convenor. Assessment will be by 5,000 word essay on a topic chosen by the individual student and developed in consultation with the convenor.
‘Moral, political, and social philosophy’ will be understood broadly, to cover historical and contemporary philosophical work on topics including, but not limited to: modernity, capitalism, liberalism, and alternative possibilities; the nature of human rights; individuality, community, and cultural difference; political authority and the authority of law; nationhood, borders, and cosmopolitanism; human well¬being; freedom and global unfreedoms; equality and global inequalities; utilitarian, deontological, and virtue ethics; the natures of value, of agency, and of practical rationality.
Possible texts include, for example:
Erik Olin Wright, Envisioning Real Utopias (Verso 2010)Iris Marion Young, Justice & the Politics of Difference (Princeton University Press 2011)Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, Democracy & Capitalism (Basic Books 1986)Elizabeth Anderson, Value in Ethics and Economics (Harvard University Press 1993)James Griffin, Well-Being (Clarendon Press 1986)Peter Railton, Facts, Values, and Norms (Cambridge University Press 2003)Martha Nussbaum, The Fragility of Goodness (Cambridge University Press 1986)Christine M. Korsgaard et al., The Sources of Normativity (Cambridge University Press 1996)Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom (Clarendon Press 1986)Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self (Cambridge University Press 1989)J. David Velleman, The Possibility of Practical Reason (Oxford University Press 2000)Nomy Arpaly, Unprincipled Virtue (Oxford University Press 2003)Bernard Williams, Shame and Necessity (University of California Press 1994)Thomas Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights (Polity Press 2002)Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (Oxford University Press 1999)
This module will involve an in depth study of a number of contemporary debates in the philosophy of mental disorder. Topics will vary from year to year, but may include the following:• What is mental disorder? Students will be introduced to some of the key accounts of mental disorder: What is the relationship between evolutionary dysfunction and disorder? Are disorders necessarily harmful?• Antipsychiatry/ postpsychiatry - The antipsychiatrists (and more recently postpsychiatrists) argue that the very concept of mental disorder is dubious. Are mental disorders substantially like physical disorders? Or, do diagnoses of "mental disorder" simply label behaviour that is unusual, socially stigmatised, or bad?• Classification - Are mental disorders "natural kinds"? To what extent are values involved in the construction of psychiatric classifications?• Conceptualising cultural variations - Do mental disorders vary from culture to culture? Would cultural variation mean that a disorder is less "real"?• Realism and constructionism about mental disorder - What does it mean to say that a disorder is real or constructed?• Meaning and the limits of reduction - Can symptoms be reduced to faulty brain states? Or, do symptoms such as "delusion" resist reduction?• Responsibility and disorder - Are those with mental disorders responsible for their actions? Are psychopaths ill or simply evil?• Identity and mental disorder - Can a disorder be central to someone's identity?• Values in psychiatric reseach - In what ways is research in psychiatry value-laden? What are the advantages of user-led research?
Bolton, D. (2008). What is mental disorder?: an essay in philosophy, science, and values. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Bolton, D. & J. Hill (1996) Mind, Meaning and Mental Disorder.Oxford: Oxford University Press.Bracken, P., & Thomas, P. (2005). Postpsychiatry: mental health in a postmodern world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Cooper, R. (2005) Classifying Madness. Dordrcht: Springer.Cooper, R (2007) Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science. Stocksfield: Acumen.Foucault, M. (1988). Madness and civilization: A history of insanity in the age of reason. LLC:Random HouseGlover, J. (2014). Alien Landscapes?: Interpreting Disordered Minds. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Hacking, I. “Making up people” pp99-114 in Hacking (2002) Historical Ontology. Harvard: Harvard Uuniversity Press.Murphy, D. (2006). Psychiatry in the scientific image. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Szasz, T. (1960) The myth of mental illness American Psychologist, 15, 113-118.Wakefield, J. (1992) The concept of mental disorder - On the boundary between biological facts and social value. American Psychologist. 47, 373-388. Zachar, P. (2014). A metaphysics of psychopathology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Tutorial rather than lecture or seminar based, this module provides opportunity to undertake a concentrated and focussed study of a topic, theme or subject which is of interest to the student and for which appropriate supervisory coverage and academic resourcing are available. Student learning is facilitated by five hours of tutorial support.
The subject specialist tutor who supervises the student will: • advise on whether the student’s planned area of research is appropriate • give guidance regarding the nature and format of the essay• give guidance on the planning of the essay• give feedback on a draft of the essay provided by the student
The student will: • formulate a topic as a clearly defined research problem• produce a reading list of relevant literature• produce the outline/early draft of an essay on the basis of the research for comments by the supervisor
Assessment is a 5,000 word essay.
The concept of spirituality is a powerful analytic tool when it comes to the examination of various binaries in Western culture: the sacred and the secular, society and the individual, authority and the subject, the this-worldly and the other-worldly. In some instances, 'spirituality' as a form of life emphasizes the shift in importance from one to the other elements of binary sets (from institutional authority to the subject); in others, it even challenges the binary (between this- and other-worldly concerns). This module seeks to bring the insights and disciplines of Asian (and other) studies to bear on the theories that arose in Western contexts. In this way, a richer, global understanding of paradigms, trends and presuppositions can emerge in the study of spirituality and its relationship to religion, society, secularism, modernity and other conceptual categories. The module will look at experiences of Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Shinto (amongst other) traditions in order to query the binaries mentioned above in very different, complementary and sometimes incompatible ways relative to those familiar to the Western, (post-)Christian experience. The major topics will be: Situating the concepts of religion and spirituality in Asian traditions; Practical Spirituality: asking for this world; Practical Spirituality and Pilgrimage; Possession: healing beyond mind/body dualisms; Possession: class, religious and gender identities; The Goddess: What has She done for women?; Sexing spirituality: and Hindu women's rituals; Religion, Spirituality and the environment. There will be weeks given over to student presentations and discussions.
Upon successful completion of the module, the student will have gained knowledge of the relevance of the concept of 'spirituality' in Asian religious and cultural traditions; explored various theoretical and empirical strategies in the study of Asian spiritualities; and learnt to study spirituality in Asian traditions in terms suited to and derived from their native contexts.
Alter, Joseph. 2004. Yoga in Modern India: The Body Between Science and Philosophy. Princeton: PUP
Davdal, Sonal (ed.). 2006 Looking for directions: Towards an Asian spirituality, Sutton: South Asian Concern
Ghadially, R. (ed.) . 1988. Women in Indian Society: A Reader. New Delhi: Sage Publications
Gosling, D.L. 2001. Religion and ecology in India and South East Asian. London: Routledge
Obeyesekere, G. 1981. Medusa's Hair. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Pintchman, Tracy. 1994. The rise of the Goddess in the Hindu tradition. Albany: State University of New York Press
Ramaswamy, Vijaya. 1997. Walking naked: women, society, spirituality in South India. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Reader, I. and George Tanabe. 1998. Practically religious: worldly benefits and the common religion of Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time.
Entry requirements: A good second class degree, or equivalent, in any subject. Relevant professional experience may be considered in lieu of standard qualifications. Students not meeting the standard entry qualifications may be asked to write a 3,000 word essay to demonstrate their academic abilities.
IELTS: 6.5 or equivalent.
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